SEAKCHLIGHT ON HINDUISM 71 twisted arms, and the walls would crumble, and he would walk abroad in the darkness. Christ on His cross, giving to the world a last, skining phrase— * Forgive them for they know not what they do*—Ganesh in his cave, twisting his trunk, riding in a chariot driven by a mouse. Can any but a fanatic seriously contest that these two symbols are worthy of equal honour in the 'Hall of Universal Religion* ? 4 But they are only symbols/ you may tell me, 'and as such they are of no consequence. The same sun shines on both of them ; it is God's sun and that is all that matters.' Such talk is nonsense, and very poisonous nonsense too. The S3ymbols are of the utmost consequence* If you doubt it, listen to one of India's foremost Hindus, C. Rajagopalachari, Ex-President of Congress and one of Gandhi's closest friends. This is what he thinks of Ganesh the elephant god i1 'People of the West might not find beauty in Ganesh and might say that the figure was funny and that at best it was a mascot. But to the Hindus Ganesh represents the sense of universal unity.. .beauty and ugliness are combined to make one ineffable beauty in Him. He has the body of a fat man and the head of aix elephant, with a mouse as His vehicle. He is fond of good eating but He is not stupid as a Westerner might suggest. We are a curious people ; let us continue to be curious, that is my prayer.* It is a strange thing when a man must apologize for his Gad; one hardly finds it necessary to apologize for Christ. It is an even stranger thing when, having apologized, he continues to worship. Yet that is exactly what HajagDpalachari does in the above speech. Yes, the Hindus are indeed 'a curious people.' IV We are still dealing with negatives. We are still showing what Hinduism is not, rather than what it is. But this seems to be the quickest method of clearing away the spiritual undergrowth, so that 1 Report of a speech delivered to a gathering of the Maharashtra Msndal, quoted in The Hindu for September 8th, 1943.